The Wilberforce Settlement 1830


Plaque Text:

In 1829 a group of fugitive Negro slaves in Cincinnati decided to seek a more secure refuge in Canada. In 1830, with the help of Quakers in Oberlin, Ohio, they purchased 325 ha of land in this vicinity from the Canada Company. A settlement was established, the first in Biddulph Township, and groups from New England and New York State joined those from Ohio. By 1833 there were thirty-two families, two schools and a sawmill in this settlement, which was named after the great British abolitionist William Wilberforce. One of the earliest Negro colonies in Upper Canada, its population dwindled rapidly in the 1840's although some families remained for more than a generation.

Wilberforce was a Slave Settlement commonly known to be part of the Underground Railroad. The name of the town was later changed to Lucan.

For more information:

Taylor,Nikki Marie. Frontiers of freedom : Cincinnati's Black community, 1802-1868. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2005.

Landon, Fred. Wilberforce, an experiment in the colonization of freed negroes in upper Canada. Ottawa: Royal Society of Canada, 1937






“The Wilberforce Settlement 1830,” The Harriet Tubman Resource Centre Digital Archive, accessed October 22, 2019, http://digital.tubmaninstitute.ca/items/show/4.